Web 2.0 Tools that help with Exam Preparation

Want a different format than simply writing on a whiteboard or for the less technologically advanced a blackboard? Than these could be the tools for you. Bubbl.us is an online brainstorming tool Bubbl.us allows you to create mind mapping and brainstorming diagrams online. It is completely free and easy to use. To create a mind map simply place the main topic/concept is entered in the parent bubble. Then responses and information in relation to this concept are put in colorful text bubbles linked to the parent bubble. The bubbles are color coded according to hierarchy.

Bubbl.us in the Classroom

Easy to use
Doesn’t require an account unless you want to save work
Helps to organize thoughts and explore relationships
Aids in generating ideas
Encourages risk taking
Encourages group discussions

Bubbl.us has proved a great tool in the classroom not only at revision time but to expand concepts in the senior cycle religion program that have been introduced at junior cycle. The Mind Map format allows for students to visually represent the progression of their knowledge of a concept and if saved can be reopened at another time to add new points as the understanding of the concept develops. Bubbl.us is also invaluable in exam preparation it enables students to destruct the question to discover what the question requires. Once the key concepts to be explored in the question are identified students can mindmap their knowledge of each concept before constructing an answer. It also provides a visual revision tool for the Kinesthetic learner. All mind maps can be printed and given to students to aid revision.


Digital Immigrant moves towards native status!!!

It is true, this digital immigrant is moving slowly towards a native status. How you might ask? The answer is simple. I now not only have my own Avatar, but my own Digital Classroom. Ms. Boyle’s classroom is full of student avatars. The tool that allowed me to move closer to native status is Voki. Voki is an educational tool that allows users to create their very own talking Avatar. You can create your own avatar to look like historical figures, cartoons, animals, and even yourself!The voice of you avatar is created by recording with a microphone, using our dial-in number, or uploading an audio file.The simplest way is to use a microphone. And best of all Voki is free to create a personalized avatar but the Voki Classroom is 30 dollars annual subscription . Voki allows you to create a digital classroom. The classroom acts as student, class, and lesson management system. The teacher is able to control their students’ privacy settings.

Here is how you can create your very own Voki…..

To Create you Voki Classroom….

Caring is sharing!

Why as teachers do we always feel that we need to reinvent the wheel???. Each teacher creates their own classroom material. If feeling generous allows the members of their department to use it and then leaves it hidden in a folder, for only the inspector to view. Why not start a revolution and share all you create. If everybody shared what resources we could have. How do you share? At the start of my journey in web 2.0 I would have said, usb, email or intranet in school but now I have discovered the amazing SlideShare!!!

SlideShare is a platform for sharing presentations. You can upload and share PowerPoint, PDF, or OpenOffice presentations.You can search and find presentations on topics of interest. In SlideShare you can tag presentation, and download or embed them into their own websites or blogs. As a member you can have your slides public or private and you can share your documents privately. SlideShare is also like a community as it lets its users to join groups to connect with SlideShare members who share similar interests. There is an education page in SlideShare that allows you to view and use presentations on the site. Remember though to be fair if you are to use others presentations you should allow them to use yours. In WordPress you can also embed any of your presentations into your blog. It is simple to join and create your slides. Here’s how…..

Everybody loves a good story……..

Ireland is the land of story tellers and one of the best ways to fire a students imagination is to allow them to be the author of their own tale. Two tools that are student friendly and easy to use are: Storybird and Storyjumper.

Storybird is a simple platform in which students can use art work from illustrators to create simple stories. It is completely free and with a class account you can manage all students in your class with no need for emails.
Here is how you create a storybird…..

Storyjumper is a tool that allows students to create their own book.It is easy to use and has a 7 step process. At the end of the process the student will have a book. There is a classroom edition that allows teachers to monitor students work. The tool may be more suited to primary school students. I have utilised it in my first year class to create stories about communities. I also hope to use it later on in the term as part of the JCSP create a book project. Storyjumper is enjoyable and easy to use. Here is how you can do it……

Web 2.0 Tools for Religion and other subjects……

There are a number of Web 2.0 tools that can help to make your classroom activities more enjoyable and relevant. The Tools mentioned can be used not only as an element in your classroom presentation but can be utilized as an assessment of Understanding through homework or Class assignments. These tools include Timetoast and Museumbox,Storybird and storyjumper that can be used in any subject.
Timetoast is a timeline generator with a difference, it creates interactive timelines that are easy to generate and allow for the inputting of not only the event but pictures, content and links.Timetoast is completly free simply register with your email account It is easy to create and enables for a large amount of information to be discovered in a limited space. In history class the transition years created timelines for people in history and the first year history classes used them in the historian activity. The had to discover all they can about the person and then create a person profile.

Museumbox allows students to act like curators and put significant objects and events and times from a persons life into a box. Museumbox is not free however and while you can register your school there is an annual cost.


Padlet(Wallwisher) is an online notice wall that allows teachers and students to post comments, pictures, watch and share videos and even debate. Padlet accounts are free and you can make as many walls as you like. Students do not have to create an account to post on your walls. The notes you post can contain links, videos, images, and document files.

There are numerous uses for padlet in the classroom
brainstorming activities or discussions where participation can be active rather than passive for all students.
use as a AFL tool (Ticket to leave), to check for student understanding and highlight areas to be reviewed
As a story starter place a sentence starter on a wall and allow students to complete with their own ideas
Or Simply to display students work, class photos etc.
Follow the link below for more interesting ways to use Padlet in the classroom.
It is easy to use and students enjoy the collaborative nature.


Animoto is a wonderful web 2.0 tool that allows you to create videos with musical accompaniment from your pictures. No more trying to upload pictures and put music over it that is time consuming and majorly stress inducing on power point. Simply pick your song upload your pictures and the presentation is done.

Animoto is completely free if you wish to create a 30 second presentation.The transition years have really taken to this app as a means of recording all their trips and fundraising activities. They simply create the videos with the pictures that are relevant to them, pick their own music and then write a blog spot on each activity to put in their transition year portfolio. The tool is also useful in the classroom to produce videos on sacred places, times or rites. It is more visually appealing than simply looking through Images or a you tube clip. It offers an opportunity to vary the stimulus. Animoto also acts a great teaching tool for classes were literacy levels are poor or there is a number of visual learners.The presentation is visual with limited text. Teachers can also use other tools such as Padlet Prezi or Bubblu.us to record student learning at the end of the presentation.